The famous 16th Century saint, Teresa of Avila, said of St. Joseph: “I wish I could persuade everyone to be devoted to this glorious saint.… I have never known anyone to be truly devoted to him and render him particular services who did not notably advance in virtue, for he gives very real help to souls who commend themselves to him.”
The ancient novena prayer to St. Joseph – said to date back to the very beginnings of Christianity – is one of the Church’s greatest treasures. It emphasizes Joseph’s protection and care for the Holy Family and his intercession for souls at the hour of death. He is the Church’s model of what it means to be a father, provider, and spouse. The Prayer to St. Joseph can be prayed at any time but particularly during the nine days (novena) before Joseph’s feast on March 19th.
O Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.
O Saint Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most Loving of Fathers.
O Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss his fine head for me and ask him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath.
Saint Joseph, Patron of departed souls – pray for me. (Mention your intention) Amen.